October 27, 2023

Time Flies Tip #3: Bye-bye Natalia

I’m not a mail-order bride to-be living in Odessa. I don’t relish gothic rock, have roommates or HIV. I do, however, know what it is like to live with a disease that gives you a more realistic perception of life, and what it is like to butt heads with people who take life lessons from Bruce Springsteen and the power of positive thinking.

Curled up under the covers this morning, stoking my addiction to short fiction (I’ve read almost nothing other than short stories for the past two years!), I was glued to Michel Faber’s Bye-bye Natalia. I’m reluctant to say too much because I don’t want to spoil it for you. Whether you are a young adult cancer patient or not, if you find yourself in a waiting room, a chemo chair, or on the train with fifteen-minutes to kill, read this incredible short story and tell me what you think.

Chosen for the 2008 collection of O. Henry Prize Stories, you can buy the collection, borrow it from a library, or read the story online via this fairly obscure link.

Let me know what you think about her relationship to medical care, the United States, and falling in love.

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  1. Anonymous Says:
    October 28th, 2008 at 12:45 PM

    I loved this story for so many reasons. The author has it dead on about life in modern Odessa (the same can be said as well for many parts of the former Soviet Union). Life in our country symbolizes many things for the people of Russia and Ukraine: hope, prosperity, creativity, freedom, health and respect. Thank you for bringing this story to our attention Kairol. It’s beautiful. ~Krasney

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